[on leaving America to join another country] The boldest approach is to start a nation of your own. Sadly, these days it is essentially impossible to buy an uninhabited island and declare it a sovereign nation: virtually every rock above the waterline is now under the jurisdiction of one principality or another. But efforts have been made to build nations on man-made structures or on reefs lying just below the waterline. Among the more successful of these is the famous Principality of Sealand, which was founded in 1967 on an abandoned military platform off the coast of Britain. The following year a British judge ruled that the principality lay outside the nation’s territorial waters. New citizenships in Sealand, however, are not being granted or sold at present. A less fortunate attempt was made in 1972, when Michael Oliver, a Nevada businessman, built an island on a reef 260 miles southwest of Tonga. Hiring a dredger, he piled up sand and mud until he had enough landmass to declare independence for his “Republic of Minerva.” Unfortunately, the Republic of Minerva was soon invaded by a Tongan force, whose number is said to have included a work detail of prisoners, a brass band, and Tonga’s 350-pound king himself. The reef was later officially annexed by the kingdom. More recently, John J. Prisco III, of the Philippines, has declared himself the prince of the Principality of New Pacific, and announced that he has discovered a suitable atoll in the international waters of the Central Pacific. As of publication, the principality has yet to begin the first phase of construction, but it is already accepting applications for citizenship.